ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has fixed for Monday the hearing of petitions filed by former prime minister Imran Khan and his spouse Bushra Bibi against a notice issued by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over alleged corrupt practices in retaining state gifts.

As per the causelist issued by the registar office on Saturday, an IHC division bench, comprising Chief Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Saman Rafat Imtiaz, will hear both the petitions on Monday.

The PTI chairman and his spouse challenged the NAB case initiated against them for retaining and ‘illegally’ selling the Toshakhana gifts.On Feb 17, NAB issued notices to Mr Khan and Ms Bushra for retaining state gifts.The anti-corruption watchdog sought details from Mr Khan, including of wristwatches and a mobile phone, presented to him by various foreign dignitaries.

The bureau also sought details of jewellary sets presented to Ms Bushra, including a Rloex watch, a gold and diamond locket presented by Emir of Qatar, two necklace sets gifted by the Saudi crown prince on September 18, 2020, and May 21, 2021, respectively.

In the identical petitions before the IHC filed through his attorney Khawaja Haris Ahmed and Barrister Gohar Ali Khan, the former prime minister and his spouse pleaded that NAB had issued the notice in violation of Section 19 of the National Accountability Ordinance.

“The contents of the call-up notice unambiguously establish that the respondents [NAB] have, through their impugned notice, initiated a fishing exercise, rather than complying with the provision of law before issuing the same,” the petitions said. It requested the court to declare the NAB notice illegal.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2023

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